Last week saw me flying from Leeds Bradford Airport to Belfast City to join colleagues in Northern Ireland for their annual conference at the Slieve Donard Hotel on the coast at Newcastle.
The location is truly stunning with views across the Irish Sea and into the Mountains of Mourne. I meant to take a photo on arrival in the sunshine but forgot ………….. instead it’s the mist covered version!
As ever the welcome from Irish friends was fantastic reminding me of my previous visits as NAHT President. Whilst the conference was both the NAHT NI AGM with associated business it also had a strong CPD feel which provided a very positive mix. I was provided with the opportunity to do a presentation and talk with colleagues about how Primary Futures was working in England with the hope that they would want to see us move into NI later this year.
The presentation and subsequent discussions went well with noticeable enthusiasm from many of the delegates which was very encouraging. It’s now a case of agreeing time scales for us to plan some pilot activities before moving towards a full launch maybe in early 2016? There is work to be done to ensure we have volunteers recruited but with the confidence and optimism we all shared this will be a challenge but one we can deal with.
Having left Newcastle it was back to Belfast for an evening in what I think is a fab city. Many traditional pubs, welcoming locals, Irish music and of course Guinness! Kelly’s Bar, The Crown and Duke of York get my vote! Next stop for Primary Futures expansion is Wales.